Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays again. I think today I’m going to try something new, we’ll call this segment Crypto Weekly, where I try to provide my thoughts on what the market is doing. This probably won’t be every week, but maybe biweekly, depending on what is happening. So let’s get started with Crypto Weekly May 2, 2018.
Crypto Weekly May 2, 2018
Mostly I’m only going to be talking about Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Cardano, since they interest me the most.
So what’s been happening this week?
Vitalik Buterin, the “head” of Ethereum recently posted some stuff talking about Sharding.
— Vitalik "Not giving away ETH" Buterin (@VitalikButerin) April 30, 2018
Why does this matter?
Well, Ethereum’s main problem currently is scalability. You may remember that Crypto Kitties caught on and brought Ethereum down to its knees making transactions lag behind with longer than normal queue times. Sharding is one way with which to solve the scalability problem.
So what is sharding then?
Sharding is a type of database partitioning that separates very large databases the into smaller, faster, more easily managed parts called data shards. The word shard means a small part of a whole.
In the case of Ethereum, the whole blockchain would be broken into smaller shards of itself. This, in theory should help increase efficiency and transaction capabilities. If you want to read more, check out the reddit post about it, which comments on:
Ripple made a small announcement that they will be resurrecting the Codius project. The summary is that the Codius project started awhile ago, but closed down in 2015. It was supposed to be the smart contract platform for Ripple. I would imagine that at the time the powers that be decided it was a better idea to go after SWIFT and payment/settlement. They probably didn’t want to be spread too thin. As to whether that was a good idea or not, we won’t know. However, here are my assumptions as to why they are trying to revive the Codius project now.
Continued partnerships and testing of both Ripplenet (and XRP) have made them optimistic about the future. If their plan goes well, they will need another place to expand into. I mentioned this in my Quora answer before: How big can Ripple get
In that answer, I suggested that Ripple would move on to something else after conquering SWIFT. I thought it might be something credit card based or something related to more peer2peer payment/settlement. However, it appears I was either wrong, or they aren’t talking about it. Instead, by resurrecting the Codius project, I think that they are going to be competing with Ethereum. However, most likely this won’t be the regular Ethereum blockchain, but the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.
Why does this matter?
Ethereum has had some problems with security before, with the DAO hack and the Parity failure (hack). Note that this isn’t a problem with Ethereum’s security, but a problem with its smart contracts. Smart contracts are so new, and the language of Ethereum’s smart contacts (Solidity) is difficult to use. You can now see why Ripple is being aggressive and going after this space.
You can hate Ripple all you want, but you can’t argue that they’ve moved forward without any real problems. The Ripple “brand name” if you consider that, is strong. The major reason I see Ripple going after this space is to leverage their partnerships with financial instituitions to create a derivatives market utilizing smart contracts. If successful, this will bring a lot more money into the Ripple ecosystem as the current derivatives market is worth about $1200 trillion ($1.2 quadtrillion).
How that could potentially affect XRP remains to be seen, but I think now people can see the vision that Ripple has… which doesn’t stop at SWIFT.
Cardano has just been chugging along as usual.
It presented its Ouroboros Praos paper at Eurocrypt 2018 and they also discussed their newest paper Ouroboros Praos Genesis. Things are moving along as expected with Ledger support coming in the next few months and Staking Pools to start testing soon. Then there is the two testnets being launched:
- The first Testnet, the K-EVM Testnet, will start May 28. (Ethereum Virtual Machine)
- The second Testnet,the IELE VM Testnet, will happen sometime in Q3 2018.
Why does this matter?
People like testnets, it’s new and exciting stuff. However, the more important thing is that this will pave the way for smart contracts on the Cardano platform, which is what people really want to see. I think people underestimate how important the K frame work in IELE will be. Overall, I think a lot of things will start happening with the Shelley phase with Goguen following after.
As for how it will affect the price of Cardano, I doubt it will change it much until we see the staking start and smart contracts being run on Cardano.
Ethereum continues toward Sharding — to solve scalability.
Ripple eyes Smart Contracts — likely trying to take some (or all) of the derivatives markets into a smart contract system.
Cardano moves forward with their Testnets.
Exciting stuff ahead.
Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.
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